Viscosity Control in VFSS Test Material Preparation: A Report of Survey Results Though the videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) is accepted as the “gold standard” of evaluation methods, protocols for its conduct are neither fully specified nor universally agreed upon. This is especially true in regards to the specifics of the test materials that are employed. Logemann (1983, 1986) specified that the ... Article
Article  |   March 01, 2006
Viscosity Control in VFSS Test Material Preparation: A Report of Survey Results
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Russell H. Mills
    Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Murfreesboro, TN
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Articles
Article   |   March 01, 2006
Viscosity Control in VFSS Test Material Preparation: A Report of Survey Results
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), March 2006, Vol. 15, 9-14. doi:10.1044/sasd15.1.9
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), March 2006, Vol. 15, 9-14. doi:10.1044/sasd15.1.9
Though the videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) is accepted as the “gold standard” of evaluation methods, protocols for its conduct are neither fully specified nor universally agreed upon. This is especially true in regards to the specifics of the test materials that are employed. Logemann (1983, 1986) specified that the VFSS should test the swallowing of liquid barium (as close a possible to the consistency of water), barium paste, and a piece of a shortbread cookie coated with barium paste. In 1996, Swigert advised that thick liquids should be tested also, but she did not define their physical characteristics. Murray (1999)  recommended the addition, where relevant, of barium tablets and capsules. Although there is general agreement with Logemann (2002) that there is value in the use of an examination protocol, how clinicians select and prepare VFSS test materials is unknown. In order to shed light on clinician practices regarding the test materials they select or prepare, a survey was developed. This article is a report of the results of that survey and a discussion of their implications as we practice dysphagia management. Though the survey captured information across liquid, semi-solid, and solid test material categories, this article addresses the control of viscosity as clinicians select or prepare thin, nectar, and honey liquid test materials for the VFSS.
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